Sneak Preview: These Sweet Mini Cheesecake Tarts contain mascarpone cheese, the luxurious alternative to cream cheese. Easy to make ahead.
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Are you planning a shower, reception, or graduation party? These Sweet Mini Cheesecake Tarts with mascarpone cheese are a sweet idea perfect for any celebration–except maybe a kid’s birthday party. Give them the grocery store cupcakes while the adults munch on these wonderful mini-tarts.
Change the fruit to suit your tastes or color
Why these No-Bake Mini Cheesecake Tarts
are the best dessert for celebrations:
1. Easy to serve.
No slicing. You also won’t need to transfer a precariously balanced fancy dessert (like a layer cake) to another plate.
Individual servings like these mini-tarts are insurance against a dessert that gets mangled on a buffet.
2. Easy to eat.
These mini-desserts are easily one bite for most men and not more than two bites for us more delicate types. In casual settings, you may not even need forks.
3. Easy to make.
Make or buy the crusts ahead of time. The filling is uncooked, so it requires only minutes.
The only last-minute detail is adding the fruit to the top.
4. Easy to customize for a specific color theme.
Change the fruit to change the color scheme. Change the flavor of the filling from lemon to orange or lime if you like. Or make it plain vanilla.
The shortbread crust:
Because I enjoy shortbread more than graham crackers, I wanted to use my favorite shortbread crust recipe for the tart shells. Click this link for the tart shells I purchased and recommend. However, store-bought crusts are perfectly acceptable.
Whether homemade or store-bought, the mini-tart shells are pre-baked. Therefore, an uncooked filling seemed preferable to the traditional baked cheesecake filling with eggs.
The mascarpone cheese filling:
One of my coworkers told me about mascarpone cheese, the secret ingredient in these tarts. It’s the fancy, more expensive, creamier, and Italian cousin of cream cheese. If you can’t find mascarpone at your grocery store, substitute cream cheese.
Did you know you can make mascarpone cheese? I just tried it myself last night. Wow! That stuff is dangerous!
Back to the tart filling:
Mascarpone cheese combined with melted white chocolate chips and sour cream creates a little bit of heaven in your mouth. Fold in some frozen whipped topping (sorry, I know–not the healthiest ingredient, but you won’t be getting that much unless you eat the whole batch) to lighten the mixture.
A touch of vanilla bean paste adds sophistication. That’s it.
Spoon or pipe the slightly-chilled filling into your tart shells for a two-bite dessert just rich enough and sweet enough to enhance whatever fruit you choose to put on top.
Here’s the best news of all. You can prepare these little jewels at least 2-3 days ahead of time except for placing the fruit on top, which should wait until you are almost ready to serve.
A tip I learned the hard way:
When you make the filling, the mascarpone cheese must be at room temperature. If the mascarpone is still cold when you add the warm white chocolate, it will harden as soon as it hits the hard cheese, leaving you with a lumpy filling. 😟
Parting thoughts: Mini tarts are my specialty. Here are some mini-tart recipes you might want to check out: Mini Strawberry Tarts with a Homemade Shortbread Crust, Mini Fruit Tarts Recipe with Pastry Cream and the BEST Shortbread Crust, and Easy Mini Lemon Tarts with a Shortbread Crust. I would love to know which one is your favorite.
If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon!
Sweet No-Bake Mini Cheesecake Tarts with Mascarpone
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese - room temperature (may substitute cream cheese)
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 5 tablespoons frozen whipped topping - like Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste - or vanilla extract
- 24 mini-tart shells - store-bought or make them yourself (https://saladinajar.com/family-recipes/fruit-and-cream-mini-tarts
- 2 teaspoons apple or currant jelly - warmed slightly until runny
- Beat mascarpone cheese in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. (I use a portable mixer.)
- Melt white chocolate chips in a small oven-proof bowl in a microwave. Heat for 45 seconds on 50% power and stir. Repeat until chips are melted.
- Add chocolate to cheese and whip. Then add sour cream and keep whipping until well-combined.
- Use a light touch and a spatula to fold in the whipped topping just until filling is smooth.
- Spoon or pipe (ziplock bag with a small snip across one corner works well) filling into baked mini-tart shells, either store-bought or hand-made.
- Chill. Before serving, add fruit of your choice. Refrain from washing the fruit, but gently wipe each berry clean with a damp paper towel.
- Lightly glaze fruit by dabbing melted apple or currant jelly onto each piece of fruit after you have placed it on the tart. No worries if you have the occasional drip.